Skiing for Beginners: 6 Things to Know about Renting Ski Equipment

Renting ski equipment is a good option for beginners or people who are traveling and don’t want to haul their ski equipment with them.  After renting ski equipment from three different mountain resorts, we have learned a thing or two.


Bring your patience with you.  We have rented from slope-side stores, stores that are in town, small stores and large stores.  We have rented in the morning and the afternoon.  They are all run efficiently but they are crowded and there is only so much the employees can do.  Plan at least 45 minutes, though I would give yourself an hour) to rent your ski equipment.  Don’t show up ten minutes before your lesson and think you will be able to get equipment and go.  Each place has its own set up but you will likely begin at registration, then you wait to get sized for boots, then you get in line to get sized for skis, and so on.  Picking up your skis the day before you hit the slopes can help save some time but you might not be the only one with that idea.

Just say no to the Demo package if you are a beginner.  Unless you ski a lot and want to try them out,  you don’t need the Demo package.  It is a few bucks more and sounds like a lot of fun but these skis typically can not be just left on the ski racks when you take a break.  Most resorts ask that you store them with a storage place rather than the racks.  This can become inconvenient.

Helmets are not always included.  Most adult ski packages do not include helmets.  After taking a very rough tumble this weekend, I highly recommend that you add the helmet to the package.

Get the insurance for the equipment.  It is only a few dollars and then you just don’t have to worry.

Find out where you can return the skis.  Before you leave the rental place, find out where you can return the skis.  The day is long and you will probably be exhausted.  If you end up nowhere near the original rental location, you might be able to drop your equipment off at a different location.

Write down your sizes before returning your skis.  This can help you when you rent next time.  If you have your sizes, you can speed up the process and be sure you get a ski length that you like.

This post is part of Travel Tips Tuesday with Suitcases and Sippy Cups and Walkingon Travels.


  1. 1

    Good tips, Jen! I can add one more to the post. You can rent it the day before in most stores and resorts. Call ahead to check their rule. Most resorts will allow you to pick up your equipment the night before. It will save so much time and allow you to get on the slope much faster. So happy to see you enjoy skiing. Can I say I’m jealous! 🙂

  2. 3

    Great tips! I learned to ski in Germany using the ride the ski lift up and get yourself down method. Wouldn’t recommend it. heh.

  3. 4

    I’d like to throw another vote in for the insurance purchase. It takes all the pressure off when you can’t find your skis…or when that tree is coming at you.

  4. 5

    These are great tips and very timely. (First ski trip next week!)

  5. 6

    Great tips! My favorites are #1, #5 and #6! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. 7

    FAB TIPS! Wish I’d had these when we first started snowboarding. And now that we have our own gear a lock is essential. Learned that the hard way when my hubby’s board was stolen his first day using it.

    • 8

      Keryn – That is my worst fear about buying our own gear (which we are going to do soon because we are tired of renting). We were in the rental place picking up our skis and they were so kind to let someone borrow skis for the rest of the day because somebody stole them. I couldn’t believe it because people just leave their stuff in the racks. Do you lock it to the rack? I don’t think I saw that anywhere while we were skiing.

      • 9

        You can lock it to the rack. Small, old-style luggage locks w/a thin cable work well, it doesn’t have to be something ski specific. Thread it through the binding and lock it to the rack.

        Another trick for skis when you’re on the mountain w/friends — mix up the skis and stash the mismatched pairs across different racks.